We paid 300 to fix our campervan’s alternator, and we were on the way North, in the hopes that this was the last time our Flyniqua will visit the specialist, Mr. Mechanic. Driving on SH1 we were enchanted by the beauty of NZ’s North Island. The forming clouds kept changing from white to gray and occasionally allowing the sun to peep in. The valleys of deep green, freshly eaten grass and whistling trees made the landscape one to remember.
At first we drove in silence as the three of us were getting used to the new environment, living in Flyniqua. For the next 5 weeks, we will sleep together, eat together, shit together, sight see together and party together. Let’s hope the beauty of NZ will keep any differences out of mind and greenery in mind.
“So this is what it feels like to be homeless?” I thought to myself after I finished washing my hair in the public bathroom’s sink. I don’t know how long I will be able to go on like this.
The idea of camping all over NZ sounds great but did we really think this through? So far, NZ is the most civilized country we have visited on our trip. Clean water, toilet paper in restrooms, green healthy food, nice people that speak English, and hand reach of anything we need. Yet we choose to explore it and live it the bushman way. We eat from the same bowl; use the same plastic spork for everything; we wash-up in cold streams, cold campsite showers, public sinks, and occasionally we use our solar shower where we put water in a black water bag and allow the sun to heat it up. Laundry is done by hand in a container and then sun dried.
“We chose the natural way” I stole that from a kid we passed on our first volcano trek, covered with rocks and pebbles, which was walking barefoot. When I acknowledged his braveness, he replied “I want to feel the nature.”
This trek or tramping as New Zealanders (Kiwis) would call it, was our first one, we soon noticed that everybody in NZ walks barefoot. What is up with that? I mean, in the mall, while tramping, on the streets, in the restaurant, while picking up their kids from school and the list goes on. When I asked God, I mean Google which is the new God according to German Dress ”Google is God, he knows everything”. He informed me that walking barefoot was also a trend in NYC at one point. I possibly cannot imagine walking barefoot in NYC, that’s just gross, garbage everywhere, at least Kiwis vacuums their sidewalks literally, not a single paper, cigarette bud or beer bottle can be found. But God, has failed to inform me the WHY question. We will soon find out why the bare-foot-ness exists in one of the more civilized countries. We just need some more time here.
First night in campsite was quite different from out highway experience the Tasman Sea was in the far back creating a wave melody for a pleasant relaxation. “Now this is what I call relaxation” I said after sitting down, staring at the torques blue water, listening to bird chirping and no one around. It allowed me to think and recap my life, this trip and what I want.
“I tell ya what I want, what I really really want, I wanna I wanna…” the Spice Girls song is stuck in my head after a little girl was singing it yesterday in a supermarket, while buying yogurt. “I tell ya, what I want, what I really really want, I wanna I wanna… yogurt?”
I laughed, but now I am humming it. How in the world did she know this song?
Although we are living like bushman, we do eat good and healthy, we stocked up on goodies like: fruits, veggies, oatmeal, granolas and lots of complex carbs plus honey. Kiwis are proud of their honey, and I would be too, it’s freaking GOOD. They are known for the Manuka honey, a healthy and healing honey with antibacterial ingredients. My favorite here is the kiwi, so sweet, juicy and tasty. Did you know that they have Gold Kiwis as well? They look more yellow and apparently have more nutrient values, they are also good, but I like the green kiwi better. In general food is healthier here; seafood, meat and dairy are healthier as the environment is cleaner. They have cleaner waters, air and soil making it perfect for a healthy living. 1/4th of the population is obese, and that’s mainly because they work long hours and are too tired to cook, leaving them with fast-food option. But somehow they still have a healthier life.
The bed is small for the three of us, we have to compromise sharing one blanket and someone always has to sleep in the middle. Iza slept the first few nights in the middle. Arecki and I are like two heaters, we slowly cooked her till one day she was well done.
“I am not sleeping in the middle, today is someone else’s turn!!!!” She screamed. So now I am the monkey in the middle, it’s hot alright, so we open the windows, allowing the fresh air and lots of bugs in. My feet and ass is eaten alive by the mosquitos, and we still continue to bake. But wait there are some pros for sleeping in Flyniqua, the morning views! We go to sleep early; its cold at night and the bugs bite so we sleep while it turns dark and wake up when the sun starts shinning. Sunrise light is beautiful, always gives a nice golden glow on the surroundings. Sometimes we have a fog, sometimes a drizzle, but it all looks pleasant.
The very north part of NZ, is wow, wow, wow, wowmazing. We tramped a 5km walk, up the hill and down the hill along the hanging cliffs, right by the Tasman Sea. Looking down the cliffs we saw crystal blue waters, hazy horizon and GREEN, GREEN surroundings like from a movie using a filter. The only filter we had was the UV filter, as the sun was shining and giving color. The trek lead us to Cape Reinga, where a light-house marks the landmark and is the very north tip of NZ. The light-house is also operated by solar batteries and is steered by a computer from Wellington. “Freaking technology I tell ya, I told you that this country is up to speed.”
This is also the place where the two bodies of water meet, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. “The Meeting Point, The Rerenga Wairu (Cape Reinga) marks the separation of the Tasman Sea from the Pacific Ocean for Maori, these turbulent waters are where the male sea Te Moana Tapokopoko a Tawhaki meets the female sea Te Tal o Vhitirela. The whirlpools where the currents clash are like those that dance in the wake of waka (canoe). They represent the coming together of male and female – and the creation of life.”
We have officially witness two bodies of water making love. SWEET… Checked!
The Kiwi birds like the Kiwis are cool, they are only found in NZ, there are 6 types of them, strong legs to kick around, strong beaks to dig out the warms and bugs from the dirt, and tuff fur, no longer have wings so they don’t fly. Now let me see if the New Zealanders fit the profile. Strong beaks? Possibly, I have not yet tested it out, but I hope they are gentle as much as strong. Strong legs? Possibly from Rugby, and tuff fur? Hmmm I’ll get back to you on that.
Kiwis are cool, in every way!
The rain is coming down, all night and all day. I imagine being home, in Sunnyside, a PJ day, vacuum in one hand and a joint in the other. I miss cleaning, and today is one of those cleaning days, music full blast and it’s me myself and I. Today is a daydream day!
Or a library day.
Yep a library, it’s the only place where we can get connected to the world. Internet is really expansive, you have to pay for wi-fi everywhere in NZ, or buy a coffee and get half an hour of free internet. Unlike in the Americas, where we trekked in Corcovado park and had free wi-fi in the middle of the jungle. In NZ they try to make money on everything. It’s annoying.
So we have checked off from our list one of the Great Walks in NZ, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. An intense 19 km trek covering spectacular volcanic geography, from an active crater to steaming vents and beautiful coloured lakes. This trek is one of the most famous treks in NZ; it gained even more popularity after the release of ‘Lord of the Rings’. I have not seen the movie yet, but now I am totally going to check it out. It was quite nice, although I was annoyed by all the people doing. It was like the migration of humans from one end to the other, I wish I was in an airplane and seen the migration from above, that would have been a sweet photo. I must add, that we were extremely lucky to have the sun shining, wow what a day.
As we are getting closer to crossing over to the South Island, our last stop in the North Island is Wellington, NZ’s capital. A small city with a relatively big reputation, equivalent to Chicago, is the windy city with bushy hillsides encircling harbor.
It’s Saturday, and we are planning on checking out some of the bars in the area, I am excited, we are going to have the opportunity to socialize, and talk to strangers. Little did we know what Wellington was really all about?
Courtenay Place is where all goes down. “Where are you guys from? Asked a girl in the girls-bathroom, “We are from Poland” I smile and she replied “Yeah you guys look like tourists. WHAT?? No way, a tourist in NZ? Ok wait, maybe because we were not wearing a short mini skirt with a strapless shirt and high heels.
After drinking couple of beers we decided to move to another location, and we were stunned by the crowd. It was the best thing I’ve seen in NZ yet. Imagine, thousands of people that look like they were just released from a prom night and super trashed. All the girls were wearing prom dresses, or miniskirts or almost nothing with heels. All the guys had tight jeans and were fucked up to the maximum. I have never seen so many drunken people in my life. I would say it was close to Mardi Grass madness, but this happens every Saturday. One of the bouncers told me that Wellingtons is the best place to party in NZ.
The night ended in a bar/lounge with good house music and a live performance by a guy playing a saxophone and percussions. We danced, we drank and I got asked if I want smoke crack. Yep, Crack. Definitely it’s a night to remember.
We are off on the late night ferry to the South Island, where more shit awaits us.
Click here to view our North Island pictures.